OMEGA 3 BENEFITS
Silent Killer: The Link between
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Obesity is one of the biggest generators of silent inflammation.
Since nearly two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, this
means that the epidemic of silent inflammation is also out of
control. By the same token, our diabetes epidemic has grown by
33 percent in the last decade. It should come as no surprise that
all three epidemics have worsened in recent years. All three are
intricately connected with a condition known as insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance occurs when your cells become less responsive
to the actions of insulin, forcing your pancreas to continuously
produce more insulin to drive glucose into cells. This excess
insulin (produced as that response to insulin resistance) also
increases the storage of body fat. So the real question behind
our current obesity epidemic is what actually causes insulin resistance?
No one knows for sure, but there is a growing opinion that the
molecular cause of insulin resistance may originate in the endothelial
cells. Endothelial cells form a very thin barrier that separates
the bloodstream from your organs. If this barrier is not working
very well, you have a condition called endothelial dysfunction,
which means among other things that insulin can no longer easily
pass from the bloodstream through the endothelial barrier to interact
with its receptors on the cell surface. It’s only when insulin
interacts with these receptors that the cell can take up glucose
from the bloodstream. Any difficulty insulin has in getting to
its receptors will keep blood glucose levels elevated. The body
responds by pumping out still more insulin, now creating a condition
known as hyperinsulinemia.
Obesity from a Different View
What if the epidemic rise in obesity in the last twenty years
was not primarily due to the usual suspects (fast food, TV, junk
food), but fueled by increased silent inflammation, which increases
insulin resistance? This means that unless you reduce the underlying
silent inflammation, any other approach to reduce obesity may
be doomed to failure. This also means that simply restricting
calories will not be enough to turn back our current obesity epidemic.
I believe that obesity starts with excess arachidonic acid (AA).
here to read more about Arachidonic Acid.) You can increase
arachidonic acid in the bloodstream either directly by eating
too much of it (it’s particularly high in fatty red meats
and egg yolks) or indirectly by consuming too many high glycemic-load
carbohydrates, which increase insulin production, which in turn
promotes increased AA production. Either way, the body goes to
great lengths to take any excess AA out of the circulation and
store it away in your fat depots in an effort to keep inflammation
Here is where the trouble starts, because fat cells aren’t
simply inert balls of lard sitting on our stomach, thighs, and
hips. These cells are very active glands that can secrete out
large amount of inflammation mediators if they’re given
the right stimulus. As your fat cells become filled with more
AA, it causes an overproduction of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids
in the adipose (fatty) tissue.
Eicosanoids play an integral role in your health. Just ask
the Nobel Prize committee, which awarded the 1982 prize in medicine
for the discovery of eicosanoids. They are also the most powerful
hormones, since they affect the synthesis of virtually every other
hormone in your body. In a sense, you can think of eicosanoids
as “super-hormones” capable of bringing great health
benefits (“good” eicosanoids), or great harm (“bad”
eicosanoids), depending on which one a cell produces.
Now you can probably guess what happens. These “bad”
eicosanoids induce the formation of new inflammatory mediators
that spew forth from fat cells into the surrounding circulation--and
generate systemic silent inflammation.
Now before you start cursing all your fat, I want to emphasize
that all fat is not created equal. Some types of fat are far more
harmful than others. It depends on their metabolic activity. Subcutaneous
fat--the fat that collects on your hips, thighs, and buttocks
and makes you look like a pear--isn’t that harmful. It may
not look too good, but at least it won’t kill you, because
your body is in no rush to mobilize the AA out of these fat cells.
That’s why this type of fat is considered metabolically
inactive. It is primarily a storage depot.
On the other hand, visceral fat can be a killer. This kind of
fat collects around the abdominal organs, such as the liver, kidneys,
and gallbladder and makes you look like an apple.
How do I spot visceral fat?
You may think that the easiest way to see if you have visceral
fat is to look at yourself in a mirror. But this may be deceptive,
because visceral fat is often found with in close contact with
subcutaneous fat in the abdominal region. The real indication
of the amount of your abdominal fat that is actually visceral
fat is measured by either your TG/HDL ratio or your fasting insulin
Visceral fat is very metabolically active and causes the constant
release of stored AA into the bloodstream. This is the last place
you want excess AA, since it’s then taken up by every one
of your sixty trillion cells, making each one more likely to generate
more pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, and therefore more silent inflammation
throughout the body.
Visceral fat is even more insidious because it also continually
releases other inflammatory mediators in addition to stored AA.
Two of the worst are the pro-inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis
factor (TNF), and interleukin-6 (IL-6). TNF is implicated in creating
even more insulin resistance, whereas IL-6 triggers the liver
to synthesize C-reactive protein (CRP), which can stimulate your
white blood cells to begin to mount an inflammatory response to
a potential infection (even though there isn’t one). About
a third of the CRP circulating in your blood came directly from
visceral fat cells. These pro-inflammatory cytokines are produced
in your visceral fat as a response the increased pro-inflammatory
eicosanoid production caused by increased AA levels.
This means the fatter you are (really, the more visceral fat
you have), the more silent inflammation you generate. This is
the smoking gun that links obesity with increased rates of heart
disease, cancer, or Alzheimer’s. Anything that increases
silent inflammation is going to be bad for your future.
Can you be fat and healthy?
Surprisingly, the answer is yes--but with a few caveats. You can
be overweight and in a state of wellness if you keep your levels
of silent inflammation under control. Since obesity generates
inflammation, you may have to take more fish oil than the average
person to reverse the silent inflammation induced by it. While
losing weight is slow and hard, reducing silent inflammation using
Ultra Refined high-dose fish oil is rapid. How much Ultra Refined
high-dose fish oil do you need? This depends on your diet. If
you are following the Zone Diet, you might only need to take 5
grams of EPA and DHA per day. If you follow the typical American
(very high glycemic-load) diet, you’ll need to increase
your dosage of Ultra Refined high-dose fish oil to a higher level.
Remember, all the medical complications of obesity come from
the inflammation it generates. Ultra Refined high-dose fish oil
is an immediate antidote to that inflammation.
Keep in mind being fat and healthy can be a dangerous game to
play. It’s a little like lighting a cigarette with a stick
of dynamite. You can do it, but you have to be very careful. The
day you stop taking adequate levels of Ultra Refined high-dose
fish oil is the day your silent inflammation will return, accelerating
you toward chronic disease and faster aging. As long as you keep
your Silent inflammation Profile under control, the likelihood
of maintaining your wellness is pretty good in spite of your weight.
The one-two punch of silent inflammation and increased hyperinsulinemia
caused by insulin resistance if left unchecked can lead to one
of the most costly of chronic diseases: diabetes.
The Diabetes Connection
Diabetes used to be a very rare disease, but times have changed.
Over the last twenty years, it has become an epidemic. Okay, let
me clarify this. Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes has become an epidemic,
while type 1 (juvenile) diabetes still remains relatively rare.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by a condition in which the pancreas
completely shuts down and fails to produce any insulin, causing
blood sugar levels to spiral upward out of control. The more common
type 2 (90 percent of all diabetics have this version) occurs
when the patient develops long-term insulin resistance. As I mentioned
above, insulin resistance causes the pancreas to secrete more
insulin (hyperinsulinemia) in an effort to reduce blood glucose
levels. Eventually the pancreas (really the beta cells in the
pancreas) just get tired and stop producing enough excess insulin.
This is called beta-cell burnout. The result is that without enough
insulin becoming secreted by the pancreas, blood glucose levels
begin to raise to dangerous levels. The danger comes from two
factors; (a) excess glucose in the blood produces free radicals
(oxidative stress), and (b) excess glucose is neurotoxic to the
brain. Hyperinsulinemia usually precedes the development of type
2 diabetes by about eight years, but they both come from increased
insulin resistance. Starting to see the connection?
Obviously, not everyone who is has insulin resistance becomes
a type 2 diabetic. However, enough do--there are an estimated
16 million Americans afflicted with type 2 diabetes. This devastating
disease puts a person at a 2 to 4 times greater risk of dying
from heart disease and also increases the likelihood of kidney
failure, blindness, impotence, and amputation. Because of these
expensive complications, type 2 diabetes is the most expensive
of all chronic diseases, costing approximately $132 billion per
year. As our obesity epidemic increases, so will the epidemic
of type 2 diabetes. That’s very bad news for the health
The good news is that taking Ultra Refined high-dose fish oil
to reduce silent inflammation (the molecular cause of insulin
resistance) and following the Zone Diet will help reduce hyperinsulinemia
(the consequence of insulin resistance) and begin to reverse type
2 diabetes in just six weeks.
Excerpted from The Anti-Inflammation Zone - Reversing The
Silent Epidemic That's Destroying Our Health. Copyright 2005
by Barry Sears, Ph.D. Used by permission.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and
Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose,
treat, cure, or prevent any disease. As with any natural product,
individual results will vary.
For more information about Dr. Barry Sears, his incredible fish
oil supplements, or the popular Zone Diet, please visit www.zoneliving.com.
If you purchase any Zone Labs, Inc. products, part of the
proceeds support CBN ministries.
Dr. Barry Sears is a leader in the field of
dietary control of hormonal response. A former research scientist
at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his efforts over
the past 25 years to the study of lipids and their inflammatory
role in the development of chronic disease. He holds 13 U.S. Patents
in the areas of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal
regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
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